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Leftovers Foundation wants to help Red Deer reduce food waste

Rescuing food, feeding those in need, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions
Leftovers Foundation wants to help feed people and reduce food waste that ends up the Red Deer landfill. (Contributed photo)

A new group has arrived in Red Deer to rescue and distribute food that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

Leftovers Foundation, founded by a Calgary-based entrepreneur and philanthropist in 2012, works with volunteers, donors, and service agencies to rescue and redirect food.

The foundation has been working with some local agencies for a few weeks, but officially launched its Red Deer program on July 18.

Kaity Engel, Red Deer co-ordinator with the foundation, said an app is used to co-ordinate picking up food donations and delivering them with the help of volunteers.

She said a lot of food may already be regularly donated to Red Deer Food Bank and others agencies, but more can be done to help those in need.

“I think that a lot of people are forgetting that the food that they can’t sell, and often ends up in the landfill, is food that people can use and need in the community,” Engel said.


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The foundation also wants to make sure smaller agencies receive food assistance for their clients, as well as organizations that people may not think about when they donate food.

She said the foundation has already worked with Mamas for Mamas, Central Alberta Women’s Immigration Association, and Vantage Community Services. An organization in Lacombe has also reached out.

“We are looking for lots of volunteers in Red Deer to help make those food rescues happen. A handful would be great to get things going,” Engel said.


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Leftovers Foundation also operates in Calgary, Edmonton, Hinton, Airdrie, Winnipeg, and recently in Lethbridge.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation has redirected more than 900,000 kilograms of food from landfills.

The foundation says over $49 billion dollars worth of food is wasted each year in Canada, based on avoidable food waste from production, processing and manufacturing, distribution, retail, consumer, and hotels, restaurants and institutions.

Leftovers Foundation says it is committed to reducing food waste, increasing access, and developing innovative, industry-leading social venture programs that change the way people think about sustainability.

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